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Film

James Franco to play Fidel Castro in new movie

@Russellisation

The Oscar nominee and Golden Globe winner James Franco is due to play the iconic Cuban leader Fidel Castro in the new film from the Spanish filmmaker Miguel Bardem, Alina of Cuba.

Starring alongside Mía Maestro, who will play Natalia Revuelta, Castro’s lover, as well as Ana Villafañe, who will portray the leader’s daughter, Franco will be hoping the forthcoming role will revitalise his modern career that has been damaged by controversy. Written by Jose Rivera, the Oscar-nominated creative who penned The Motorcycle Diaries, Bardem’s film follows the true story of the leader and social activist who led the Cuban revolution in the 1950s. 

Franco, who is of Latin-Portuguese heritage, has been approved for the role by some impressive names, receiving the support of Castro’s own daughter, who is also working on the film as a biographical consultant. 

Speaking about the casting of Franco via Deadline, John Martinez O’Felan, the film’s lead creative producer, stated, “Finding and convincing James Franco to play Castro was a fun and challenging process and has been the collaborative work of the universe because our director’s original order was to find an actor who holds a close physical resemblance to the real Castro to build from, along with finding someone Alina Fernandez would strongly endorse”. 

Franco’s career came to something of a standstill in January 2018, when several allegations of sexual misconduct were made against the actor by former pupils of his acting school, ‘Studio 4’. Such was made clear three years later, in June 2021, when the actor agreed to pay $2,235,000 to resolve a lawsuit made against him, alleging that he encouraged his students into performing explicit sex acts on camera. 

His most celebrated performance came in Danny Boyle’s 2010 survival drama 127 Hours where he played Aron Ralston, a mountain climber who becomes trapped under a boulder while canyoneering alone near Moab, Utah.